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Latest: AIG Cups and Shields

AIG Junior Cup, Senior Cup Semis and Bruen Shield Final underway at Thurles

  • 06 October 2018

PHOTO - Athenry, winners of the AIG Barton Shield - image by Cashman Photography​.

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On Friday, Athenry clinched the AIG Barton Shield, beating Dundalk by 3 holes.

In the top match, Louis O’Hara and Joe Bernie Junior beat Aaron Grant and Conor Curran by 4 holes.

Allan Hill and Darren Leufer lost their match to Caolan Rafferty and Eoin Murphy by 1 hole but with a 3 hole margin secured with just one hole left to play, the Connacht side had sealed their first ever senior title.

“I’m speechless and I’m not usually speechless” beamed Joe Bernie Jnr afterwards. “It’s the culmination of a lot of years of hard work I think for the golf club. This is the third time we’ve got to a senior all-Ireland and we’ve never won one and to do it today is absolutely magnificent. 

“I can’t speak highly enough of my partner Louis and our team captain Mike who has put so much into it, soldiered along for so many years. When you have talent like Darren and Allan and David as well, I think our day was coming, today was our day.”

Michael Lane, Athenry’s team captain was thrilled.

“I’m over the moon, absolutely thrilled, I’m lost for words to be honest. It’s fantastic for Athenry and Galway golf. It’s our first time ever winning a men’s senior event. I said earlier on that 20 years ago we couldn’t even field a Barton Shield team, now we have top players and that’s a testament to the junior convenors over the years and the likes of Declan Cunningham and Sean Whelan and the work they have put in with the juniors.

“Caolan [Rafferty] played in Athenry a few weeks ago and I brought my son down to watch him. I said this is a golfer you need to watch him. Arguably our best player is in Argentina at the moment [David Kitt], at the Youth Olympics and I am just off the phone to him. We have guys here who are all willing to step up to the plate. Joe Bernie, no more than myself, is not a young man and he battled and battled there today and he did the business. It’s brilliant.”

“The ball doesn’t know what size you are or what age you are. I had a great feeling going out because they are a great bunch of lads. They’re easily minded, the turn up and do all their stuff. They are a credit to their families and the club.”


 

In the AIG Pierce Purcell Shield Final, Nenagh won out over a valiant Athlone side – winning by four matches to one.

Wins for Gerard Clifford and Tom Quinlisk , David Hickey & Martin Reddan  and James Reddan and Pat J Hogan gave the Tipperary side victory before the other matches were called in.

It’s the Tipperary side’s fifth win in the Purcell, and their second in three years.

Paddy Peters, team captain was relieved after securing the win.

“Munster is tough. If you get out of Munster in any of the match play competitions, you have a good chance, especially in the Bruen and Pierce Purcell. 

“Five of the team are drawing the old age pension.  We had just two from the 2016 team and a few others that could have played on the Bruen team. Once the Bruen team was beaten they were ineligible to play on Purcell (club rule) but we didn't. We stuck with the lads we had and it paid off. They are a great bunch of lads. Very dedicated and they did it. 

And Thurles were more than good to us. They invited us over for a practice match and it was a hell of a match, the hardest match we had. We actually beat them in the Minster semi-final. They were upset over that and would have loved to be in the All Ireland finals they were holding in their own club.

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